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Free Study Guide-The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway-Free Book Notes
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Jake comments on Bayonne, France, as a nice, clean town. They take a walk and find a tackle store, where they buy two nets and a rod for Bill. After breakfast and beer, they drive out of town and enjoy the green and rolling hills of the Basque country. They pass the Spanish frontier, have their passports inspected, talk to some Spanish men about fishing, and find a stream where they can evaluate the trout. As they drive back into Spain and through the mountains, Jake notices Robert Cohn is asleep, totally unaware of the beauty that surrounds them. Arriving in Pamplona, they go to the Hotel Montoya. Cohn, who seems nervous about his affair with Brett, tells Jake and Bill that he thinks Brett and Mike will not come. Bill, who is angry with Cohn, makes a bet that they will show. Jake and Bill take a walk while Cohn goes to get a shave, and Bill reveals his annoyance with Cohn to Jake. When Cohn reappears, Bill says, "Let him not get superior and Jewish." After coffee together, Bill goes to write letters, Cohn goes again to see if the barbershop has opened, and Jake arranges for tickets to the bullfight.

Jake walks to a cathedral, where it is dim and dark inside. He kneels and prays for everybody: Brett, Mike, Bill, Cohn, himself, and the bullfighters. He also prays for a fine fiesta, for good fishing, and for money. His mind wanders to Brett and the Count, and he has a feeling of regret that he is poor, a fact to which he is resigned. He also decides that Catholicism is a grand religion and only wishes that as a Catholic he felt religious.

That night at dinner they see that Cohn has bathed, shaved, and had a haircut. He is obviously anticipating Brett's arrival. After dinner, Jake walks to the station with Cohn, and they learn that Brett and Mike do not arrive on the nine o'clock train. Jake, who believes that Cohn brings out the worst in people, is enjoying Cohn's nervousness. Jake admits that he is unforgivingly jealous of what has happened between Brett and Cohn and realizes he really hates the man. When Jake receives a telegram from Brett saying she and Mike will be delayed, he does not tell Cohn of the cable.

The next morning Jake buys tickets for the bus to Burguete for the fishing trip. Cohn decides to stay in town waiting for Brett and Mike. Jake is annoyed that Cohn is acting sad over missing out on the fishing trip: "He was being sentimental about it." Later, Bill and Jake discuss Cohn, Bill remarks on Cohn's Jewishness. Cohn has confided to Bill he went with Brett to San Sebastian. Bill wants to know why Brett did not go with "some of her own people" or with Jake. Jake says she cannot go anywhere alone.


Jake is very sensitive and appreciates even the small things of life with gusto. His description of the countryside is concrete, using very simple sentences, strung together without subordination, in order to convey his simple pleasure. The disarming simplicity of the noun-heavy structure is very noticeable. Jake identifies the thing and then the quality the thing suggests. His description is like a list of equally important things, a succession of sensations. He does not make judgments. The trip is therapeutic for Jake. Not surprisingly, the insensitive Cohn sleeps through most of the trip and sees nothing. Unlike Jake, Cohn has no sense of wonder. At the cathedral, Cohn does not experience the church. He does not think about it as a place where the Spanish people come to worship; instead, to him it is merely a cathedral with nice decorations like the ones he studied about at Princeton. In spite of Cohn's irritating ways, Jake is patient with him. Bill Gorton does not share the same patience. He finds Cohn totally obnoxious, especially in his attitude of Jewishness and superiority. He cannot understand how Brett could possibly have chosen to go to San Sebastian with him.

Cohn is very anxious to see Brett again, as evidenced by his physical preparation of having a shave and taking a bath. In spite of these preparations, he cannot calm his nervousness. First, he is scared that Brett may not show up at all. If she does come, he is nervous that he won't be able to persuade Brett not to marry Mike; he desperately wants to continue their affair (which Brett clearly acknowledges as a passing fling that is totally over). In his anxiety, Cohn behaves poorly, not at all like a man. Jake admits he enjoys seeing Cohn in such a state, for he is jealous of Cohn's having been involved with Brett, which is the thing Jake seems to most want in life. When Jake receives the telegram from Brett instead of Cohn, Jake is overjoyed by the small victory and hides the news from Cohn.

As Jake walks through the town alone, he becomes very relaxed. He loves Spain, where he has often visited, and feels completely comfortable among the Spanish customs, people, and places. During his walk, he is drawn to the cathedral and goes inside to pray. Hemingway writes Jake's prayer with emphatic and extreme simplicity. It is almost like a thought stream, but no thought is held long enough to evaluate it. It seems to be a representation on the sentence level of how Jake copes with difficult emotions. Although Jake's mind wanders during prayer, it is obvious that he values faith and honors the Catholic traditions.

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